By on August 15, 2016

2016 Cadillac Design Concept Preview

Cadillac will introduce a new design concept this coming Thursday during California’s Monterey Car Week.

At 10:45 p.m. EST on Thursday, August 18, Cadillac will debut a car the company says, “will feature an array of curved OLED screens, co-developed with LG Electronics.”

Cadillac has stayed relatively true to the edgy themes of 1999’s Evoq Concept for nearly two decades. But that theme, Paul Snyder, chair of the Transportation Design Department at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, told Automotive News last January, has softened. “It’s gotten more artistic and less scientific,” Snyder says.

Could the curved OLED screens Cadillac describes in the company’s 65-word press release portend a new design direction for Cadillac? There’s no time like the present.

Once the standard of the world, Cadillac is now suffering from declining sales in its home market. Globally, Cadillac sales declined 1.5 percent to fewer than 130,000 units through the first-half of 2016 as the company’s transition from its SRX best seller into the new XT5 impaired growth. (Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus all sold more than 150,000 new vehicles during the same period in the United States alone.)

When asked for further detail on the Monterey concept’s design direction and stature, Cadillac responded with a no. “We’ll have full information following the reveal on Thursday,” Cadillac’s product and technology spokesperson, Donny Nordlicht, told TTAC.

Cadillac’s Nordlicht did confirm, however, that the automaker will introduce the Monterey design concept at a private event before it’s put on display all weekend long.

Cadillac has not introduced a concept since it revealed the Elmiraj three years ago.

This year’s Cadillac event can be streamed at on Thursday night. Cadillac’s video preview is viewable below.


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71 Comments on “Art and Science Dead? Cadillac Design Concept Will Debut Wearing Curves In Monterey...”

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Arggggh! Shades of those awful Detroit dashboards of the 70s and 80s.

    I am old enough to remember when Detroit (and especially GM) had great interior and exterior designs.

    Not saying, of course, that the Japanese and German designs are much better (if at all).

    The automotive industry has been Bangled.

  • avatar

    I agree, they are more artistic and less science these days. Just like a caricaturist is an artist and not a scientist.

    It’s long past time for their design theme to be ditched. It was looking dated by the late ’00s on things like the STS.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d say the last CTS was the last truly great looking thing they did, but yeah…it’s time to ditch the current design language, which isn’t very inspired. It ain’t bad, but it’s not sexy.

      And CUE needs to be fixed.

      • 0 avatar

        I was >>this close<< to buying a dealer demo '14 CTS ($14K off MSRP!) before coming to my senses and realizing that I'd put my fist straight through CUE's shiny face within a matter of days.

        Nice car. Dumpster fire interface.

      • 0 avatar

        Have you tried CUE lately? 2.5 is a hell of an improvement. Also coming from a 16 GLI owner there are a lot worse systems out there. VW lags so far behind in infotainment that my “Discover” interface is pretty much limited to what glitch I discovered that day.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      It didn’t look terrible then, but it’s well past its sell-by date now. A&S has been watered down to unrecognizability by Chinese concerns anyway.

  • avatar

    It’s time for a resurgence of chrome and fins! I doubt it, but I can always dream.

  • avatar

    This comment is in memoriam of DeadWeight. DeadWeight has died, DeadWeight has risen, DeadWeight will come again.

  • avatar


    To:Cadillac Underlings
    From:LS1 Fan, your boss.

    Subject; Brand Turnaround.

    Effective immediately, discontinue everything that doesn’t have an Escalade badge on it. I don’t care that the ATS is RWD. Neither does the public, because if they wanted a cramped RWD premium car they’re buying a BMW. Or a Mercedes if the local BMW outlet is staffed by tools.

    Going forward, commence R&D for production of the following cars:


    The Fleetwood ,Seville and Eldorado will be big, beautiful cars made RWD. The Eldorado shall have two doors & a convertible model, and the Fleetwood will be a long wheel base version of the sports oriented Seville. All will be big and comfortable Interstate eating Apple Pie American cars , with Apple Pie Chevy small blocks.

    The first person to enail response with “Nurburgring” , “European sports tuning” ,”it should have a DOHC engine” or “CTS-V” in will be driven to the nearby unemployment office – in the backseat of an ATS.

    Your 28 Year Old (Imaginary)Boss

    • 0 avatar

      That’s the thing, though…all due respect, you’re 28, and I’m 52. My family, and our neighbors, HAD Eldorados, DeVilles, and Fleetwoods. And they were all pretty much horrid, poorly-made Chevy clones. Those cars are the reason why Cadillac was flattened by the competition 20 years ago.

      I wouldn’t even consider a new “Eldorado” when the last one I knew was a unrepentant piece of garbage. (I will say it was a sharp piece of sheetmetal, though…)

      So, maybe the alphanumeric name thing isn’t a great idea, but if you want to get sales traction with folks my age – i.e., the target demographic for luxury cars – using the names from the “glory days” may be a worse thing than “CT-whatever”.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree that the rest of the lineup should be scrapped, almost to the point that Escalade should become its own sub brand with a box shaped chrome faced crossover/SUV in every possible size.

      But I don’t think looking backwards is the answer. Nobody cares about large sedans or coupes anymore in the vein of the land yachts that defined Cadillac’s peak; Cadillac doubling down on such a lineup would make a bad situation worse. The hottest luxury sedan by a country mile is the Model S… I think full on electric cars are a bridge too far, but a lineup of futuristic plug in hybrids would turn Cadillac around, provided they

      – look GOOD and DISTINCTIVE
      – have ROOMY BACK SEATS
      – are PRACTICAL

      So in other words the ELR with everything besides the hybrid powertrain lol.

      They could make do with 2 cars… 1 midsize, one large… built off the Epsilon platform and for the love of God priced no more than $60K, which is the absolute psychological limit anyone would pay for an American car not called the Corvette or Escalade in any kind of meaningful volume.

      Restyle the ATS to be the next SS and eat the losses on the failed Alpha platform. Naturally GM bombs on packaging efficiency literally the instant the competition doubles down on it……………….

      But yea, recalling the glory days of Frank Sinatra and pre-Civil Rights Era Cadillac greatness is just not a realistic way forward. If anyone should have done that it was Lincoln with the Continental. How cool would a re-interpretation of the ’64 have been? All of my rules would still apply though.

      • 0 avatar

        Kill the ATS and XTS and turn the CTS into a Chevelle.

        Keep the CT6, Escalade, and XT5. Build a 3-row “Escalade Sport” and a 2-row “Escalade Evoque”. Maybe throw in the Cruzillac for volume and the mid-engined thing for whimsy.

      • 0 avatar

        Escalade ain’t the answer either. I’d say it’s better styling, and some product fixes (like CUE, the back seat on the ATS, etc). Plus I’d also look at doing a X1 fighter.

        Otherwise, the lineup doesn’t have any glaring holes. Cadillac’s biggest problem is that the market moved away from sedans at the same time theirs became competitive.

        • 0 avatar

          Americans don’t necessarily want tasteful- they want bold and American. This is why the Escalade is the top selling big SUV over stuff like the Range Rover and LX570. And why the CLA even exists. So I think Escalade everything is the way. Pile em high, stack em deep. As the Evoque shows the boxy look can even work for tiny CUVs. And the boxy Escalade profile works well with the A&S design as well as the space efficiency needs of all these segments.

          The XT5 could be by anybody. It doesn’t matter and probably won’t land many conquest sales. I feel like it will do worse than the SRX too.

          • 0 avatar

            What sporty said. Bling and enough horsepower to scare the plebs. We aren’t getting 8’s anymore, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have waftable torque. The XT5 in high line trim is very pretty though…disagree there.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        “The hottest luxury sedan by a country[-club] mile.”


        And I agree. The CT6 hybrid can’t come soon enough.

    • 0 avatar

      So, you want Cadillac to fail then?

      As others have said, no one wants those cars. No one wants a Caddy coupe or convertible or large sedan. They don’t even care about V8s and RWD. The real world is not populated by interneters.

  • avatar

    I’d venture a guess that Bentley and Rolls Royce were “the standard of the world” Cadillac has never been in the same league.

  • avatar

    Here’s hoping the new designs are attractive to someone not living in Shanghai.

  • avatar

    Grandpa, I mean, Great-Grandpa, will feel right at home in what looks like a retro-Caddy.
    That is, if he doesn’t mind the steering wheel almost rubbing on the driver’s door armrest.
    Good thing most of the car wasn’t visible in the preview. The other design, fit and finish flaws aren’t noticeable… yet.

  • avatar

    I always thought the “Art and Science” theme was sort of a spin-off from the Catera ad: “The Caddy that zigs! … where it should have zagged!”

    To me, the Cadillacs since the 90s have always been sharp where they should be soft, and and soft where they should be sharp. But that’s just my opinion.

  • avatar

    That dash looks like a Cadillac interpretation of what a highly trimmed Chrysler 300 interior should look like.

    Which means BroughamBros approved.

  • avatar

    I quite like that dashboard actually. Shades of the ’60’s rather than 70’s and ’80s. And the ’60’s was Cadillac’s golden age.

  • avatar

    I love the retro steering wheel.

  • avatar

    It’s articles like these that used to draw me into the comments section to read what Deadweight would say, since not only were they funny, but it was really biting commentary on the complete idiocy of GM, and DW’s favorite whipping boy…Cadillac. Now since he’s gone, TTAC is basically dead to me. #freeDeadweight

  • avatar

    Cadillac: Put up or fold.

  • avatar

    It just seems to me that Cadillac became more and more irrelevant the more they tried to be a European car company. There was a time when Cadillac was about the exact opposite of a car like a BMW, and they seemed to sell pretty well, despite the fact that car magazine writers hated them.

    Now Cadillac has basically become a domestic BMW, they are in a death spiral. The only model that really keeps the lights on at Cadillac is their big (and very American) Escalade. Good thing they didn’t go European on their bread and butter SUV.

    I’m sure GM will just continue to sell gimmicky stuff thinking that will bridge the gap. it won’t, and it will probably put the cars in the salvage yard very quickly. I don’t want to know what an OLED replacement dash is going to cost.

  • avatar

    Better looking than any Caddy dash in decades. Hope the whole car looks this good.

  • avatar

    Trump: Let’s make Cadillac great again!

  • avatar

    To me that dash looks like a futuristic rendering from Popular Mechanics in 1955 guessing “what will cars look like in 1980?”

  • avatar

    I am intrigued.

    I went to Cadillac House again, where I met Ms. Melody Lee, who’d seen one of my posts on another forum. She is charming and the exact opposite of the stereotype fat old guy cigars and scotch auto exec.

    Caddy House, in action, makes sense…you have to sell in the Green Leafy Burbs to sell everywhere else, and the folks hanging out there were the exact people you need to wave Caddy in front of. My experience with one and my peeps here in Westchester is that no one has much brand experience with Caddy…

    We had a wide ranging conversation about Caddy, GM, and the overall auto market, especially in the NYC area hothouse. I recall she mentioned that she was well aware Caddy needs a CUV and an “S3 competitor”.

    I wonder if it is one of those….. based on the dashboard tease, I’m thinking the CUV. They have ATS thru CT6 for cars, and the XT5 is fresh. The CUV would be higher priority than another small car.

    No spyshots ? or has TTAC agreed not to do that ?

  • avatar

    Seems like a JJ Abrams-approved rendering. All I glean from this is the dash screen will be black and lens flare can happen at any time, to any one.

  • avatar

    Today, on the Bear Mountain Parkway near Harriman State Park, NY I saw a small Caddy CUV go by. It was a quick view only and there is nowhere to turn around so I couldn’t get the spyshot. It was NOT an SRX or XT5. It was definitely very new and I thought pretty in the six seconds I saw it…..

  • avatar

    This dash is a bit much!

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